The Minister for Health Simon Harris is being urged to bring in salaried GPs in areas which have trouble recruiting doctors.
According to new figures from HSE, there were over half a million patients either waiting for an operation, an outpatient appointment or an internal endoscopy examination.
8,000 additional people joined the outpatient’s waiting list alone.
Independent TD and Clare GP Michael Harty has said better links between primary and secondary care; and bringing in salaried GPs would help alleviate the problem: “In rural Ireland, most of your work is public work.
“There is very little private practice, private practice has actually been subsidising the GMS over the last few years and private practice has been eroded but certainly in rural Ireland you would not survive on private practice.
“So bringing in salaried doctors to areas which have difficulty recruiting doctors is an excellent idea.
“It would mean the HSE would have to provide the building, the staff, all the infrastructure.”